Spring training has begun, and baseball's hot stove has done anything but cool down. Free agency may be coming to a close, but the trade rumors are still hot, hot, hot!
For example, Atlanta Braves pitcher Jair Jurrjens (pictured) has been the subject of trade rumors for the past couple of years, and his name came up quite a bit this season. Alas, he was never moved.
Yet, I'd bet my right arm that Braves GM Frank Wren is still listening to offers very quietly as he looks to get some top prospects in return for the reliable righty.
That said, let's take a look at five hot, updated rumors on the trade market.
According to ESPN's Jim Bowden, the Braves have already targeted Nick Swisher as a potential deadline target, and Jair Jurrjens could be involved in the deal.
I can see why the Braves would want Swisher, in case Jason Heyward has another off year, but the deal makes no sense for the Yankees.
Their rotation is already stacked from top to bottom. Even if one guy gets hurt or is a bust, they have a multitude of arms in the minors that they could call up.
On top of that, Swisher is one of the most popular guys on the team and among the fans. To trade him would take the life out of the team, so I don't see it happening.
When the Yankees signed catcher Russell Martin last year, it appeared as though he was just a fill-in until Jesus Montero was ready to become a full-time position player.
Thought to be a gamble after an off year with the Dodgers, Martin's first season in pinstripes was actually pretty good. He only hit .237 in 125 games, but he also hit 18 homers, had 65 RBI and was named an All-Star.
But things are different for Martin now. Montero was traded to Seattle for Michael Pineda this offseason, so now Martin has become an extension candidate, according to ESPNNewYork.com. Yet, there remains the question of what to do with catching prospect Austin Romine (pictured).
Romine and Montero were the Yankees' two best catching prospect a year ago, with Romine being touted as the better defensive option. His value is still sky-high, and with two other catching prospects in Gary Sanchez and J.R. Murphy waiting in the wings, don't be surprised if GM Brian Cashman pulls the trigger on a trade that sends Romine to another team.
According to MLive.com, rumor has it that the Detroit Tigers are looking to add a fifth starter, and that could mean dealing top prospect Jacob Turner (pictured).
The team's rotation is looking pretty good now, with reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander as the ace. Following him are Doug Fister, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello and Turner.
Turner is definitely a viable option for the back end of the rotation, but his brief MLB resume is less than impressive. He went 0-1 in three starts last year, posting an 8.53 ERA. Still, looking at his minor league numbers, his ceiling is definitely high, and he has a future in the majors.
Still, the Tigers are looking to make a run for the pennant this year, and that means having a solid rotation from front to back. With Turner's inexperience, he could prove to be dead weight, and in the Tigers' case, it could be worth it to use him as trade bait to acquire a more experienced arm plus some more prospects.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Washington Nationals have quietly been in the hunt for Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones. This is strange because, looking at the team's roster, the outfield is pretty stacked.
As of now, the outfield looks as follows: Jayson Werth in right field, Michael Morse in left (though he could move to first) and a platoon of Roger Bernadina and Rick Ankiel in center. Should hot prospect Bryce Harper make the team, this throws an even bigger wrench into the gears.
No matter how you look at it, some trade needs to be made in this department. Seeing as how GM Mike Rizzo also has Michael Bourn on his radar for next season, it's going to be interesting to see how this scenario plays out.
The Oakland Athletics have made it official: Cuban sensation Yoenis Cespedes has been signed to a four-year deal, the team announced on its Twitter account.
This makes for something of an outfield controversy, as Cespedes is currently expected to start in left field, though his natural position is in center. Adding to the controversy is incumbent center fielder Coco Crisp's unwillingness to move to left.
With that said, I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the A's will do what they do best when something like this comes up: make a trade. GM Billy Beane is a maestro at manipulating the trade market and selling average players for top prospects, and the speedy Crisp shouldn't be an exception.
It's going to be a while before this situation has a final resolution, but we can at least speculate in the meantime.